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Traditional knitting art at 4010m altitude. We proudly introduce: Paulina Ccana

Wife, mother, traditional knitter and descendant of the Incas.

Paulina lives together with ten other families as part of the Kinsaccocha Community in Paru Paru, Cusco, at 4010m in the Andes.

“After my mother died when I was 12 years old, I started weaving because we didn’t have any money left to go to school.”

Paulina is a member of the indigenous people who inspire our designs and tell our stories. Here is an insight into Paulina’s story:

I moved in with my aunt who taught me traditional weaving. I started knitting my own clothes and was able to save money. At the age of 18 I had the chance to visit a neighbouring community that taught me how to dye alpaca wool with plants such as coca leaves, eucalyptus or onions. After returning to my Kinsaccocha community I started to pass on my knowledge to the other women.

We formed a group that has been meeting weekly ever since to knit traditional textiles. We sell them to Cusco, mostly to international visitors for whom our craft is a speciality. For me and the other women it is important to dye our alpaca wool with plants, as our ancestors did. With natural means that Pachamama gives us. Plants heal us from diseases and are therefore good to wear on the skin.

For our patterns we use symbols from our environment. My parents and grandparents have often woven the condor or the puma, because these animals are sacred to us. Nowadays we unfortunately rarely see these animals. In our designs you can find the mountains and the water, because we live right in between. In the middle of the hill of the condor, which was named by our ancestors and the lake Pumaccocha, which has the shape of a puma.”

“When visitors come to our village and buy our craftsmanship, it makes me happy. Because I show our heritage and our faith through the patterns in our clothes.”

Paulina Ccana, Kinsaccocha Community


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